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NPL Scientist features in IOP’s National Apprenticeship Week report

New report showcases diverse individuals and career opportunities

Saskia Burke, Assistant Scientist and former apprentice at NPL, is featured in the Institute of Physics (IOP)’s new national report. The report showcases individuals and organisations that are leading the way in providing diverse career opportunities in STEM through apprenticeships. 

In 2023, Saskia won IOP’s technical skills award, which recognises the significant contributions that technicians and apprentices make to physics. The technical skills award is unique in the UK and Ireland and also recognises employers that demonstrate their commitment and contribution to scientific and engineering apprenticeship schemes. 

Saskia chose to take up an apprenticeship as she didn’t quite see herself going to university. Just as she was sitting her A Level exams, her school hosted a visitor that talked about apprenticeships. Saskia recalls this being a pivotal moment “I was sitting there and thinking, yes, this is what I want to do!”. 

On her career and apprenticeships, Saskia said: “I wish more people knew, at the time I was at school, that apprenticeships were an option, which is why I love doing outreach so I can tell everyone about them.  

“I don't want other kids to miss out on the apprenticeship opportunity because I know how stressful school can be for some people and not knowing that this is an option and forcing themselves through university, for the sake of it, is not right.”  

Saskia’s story features in Solving skills: Powering growth through physics-related apprenticeships and shows just how beneficial it is to find out about apprenticeships in good time, to be aware of local opportunities, to have support from parents or carers, to have suitable access to transport, and to have a supportive employer and work environment – all these played some part in her success. 

The report continues to raise awareness that more than half (53%) of physics-demanding jobs do not require a degree level qualification, opening the door for apprenticeships to plug the skills gap, delivering STEM careers with future longevity for many young people. 

NPL has a long-standing apprenticeship scheme, with opportunities across the business. 

Find out more here

08 Feb 2024